Protect Yourself

1. Of course I look familiar. I was here just last week cleaning your carpets, painting your shutters, or delivering your new refrigerator.

2. Hey, thanks for letting me use the bathroom when I was working in your yard last week. While I was in there, I unlatched the back window to make my return a little easier.

3. Love those flowers. That tells me you have taste … and taste means there are nice things inside. Those yard toys your kids leave out always make me wonder what type of gaming system they have.

4. Yes, I really do look for newspapers piled up on the driveway. And I might leave a pizza flyer in your front door to see how long it takes you to remove it.


REO Rancho

There has only been one house in the Covenant close under $1,000,000 so far, the 1,862sf one on 3.16 acres at 6427 Paseo Delicias:

It had listed for $1,320,000 in June, but had to lower to $999,800 before it sold for full price on September 30th.  Will there be more?

This will be a good test:

Pre-Approved Short Sales

Sean and the folks at are very gracious in providing their data, though I don’t like this – fewer trustee sales, and more cancellations.

If the trend continues, we’ll have fewer REO listings, which are typically well-priced and vacant, and instead have more short-sales and loan modifications:

San Diego County Trustee-Sale Results

The bulk of the defaulting mortgages are from refinancings, which are full-recourse.  Are the lenders/servicers gearing up for The Big Collection?

Maybe not, and perhaps the opposite.  They could be anticipating HAFA, the latest foreclosure-avoidance device that encourages lenders and servicers to approve short sales, and deeds-in-lieu of foreclosure.  HAFA begins April 5th.

HAFA directs the servicers to pre-approve the short sale, prior to listing the home for sale. 

Once approved, the homeowner gets four months to sell the house, stalling any foreclosure proceedings, and then gets $1,500 for moving expenses.  It also looks like the homeowner get released from all liability too. 

Here are more details on HAFA, from Inside Mortgage Finance:


Rising What?

Hat tip to Rick the Tuna for sending this article from the North County Times:

“The environment is really conducive to prices rising at this particular point,” said Alan Gin, an economics professor at the University of San Diego’s Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate. “Interest rates are low, and prices are low.”

Most of the activity in the market is in the lower price tiers, where new homebuyers are trying to take advantage of the 38 percent decline in value since the March 2006 peak.

The index breaks homes into three price categories. The lowest category, comprising homes worth less than $297,000 in San Diego County, had the highest rate of growth for the fifth month in a row. Industry participants say tight supplies are driving up prices, with lenders slow to release foreclosed homes into the market.

I think there is always a 10% swing in what a home is worth. 

If you’re selling and do all of the following – hire a great realtor, spruce up the joint, make it easy to see, and put an attractive price on it, you’ll get towards the higher end of the 10% range. 

If you hire a lousy realtor, leave it ugly, make it hard to show, and price it too high, you’ll get towards the bottom of the range.

There will be more homes selling towards the top of the range when the market feels like it is heating up, but the internet provides all the data to keep buyers from going crazy and bursting out of that range. 

It’ll seem like prices might be ticking up, but they should stay in the range.  There should be plenty of supply just under the surface, waiting to come forth:

  • Defaulters
  • Loan Mod-ers
  • Short Sellers
  • Bank-Owneds
  • Expired listings from last year
  • Unemployed homeowners
  • Older folks who need money/no stairs

Don’t be buffaloed by any pundits who make it sound like there is a viable threat of spiking prices.  There will always be an occasional lucky sale, and let’s face it – Southern Californians have a propensity to rush in and gobble up properties at any price.  But there should be plenty of homes to go around.

More Slinky Needed

Is the new year bringing more REOs to market?

Though everyone wants to “steal one from the bank”, if you’re looking to buy in North SD County Coastal (Carlsbad-to-La Jolla), you’ll find few opportunities to snag an REO sale.

Have there been more REO listings coming on the market in 2010?

Detached 2010 REO listings 2010 Total listings REO Percentage
All SD County
NSDC Coastal

No flood yet.  What’s the difference in pricing?

Detached 2010 REO listings 2010 Total listings
All SD County
NSDC Coastal

Buyers see the REO listings, and dig the improved pricing – but there aren’t enough to go around.  We don’t necessarily need more REO inventory, just more REO-type pricing on regular listings.

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